This year, the fishing has been strange. Especially Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds. Last week we had many of our favorite summer species, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and Sailfish to mention a few. They all came in fast and hungry. The bait remained, but the different species have either moved on or have thinned out in number by spreading out across all of PV’s fishing grounds. Bass are still around, kinda strange with warm water temperatures in the bay. It’s a “La Nina” year, which means the normal conditions are anything but. We’ve seen summer species in the area now for months, when normally they wouldn’t be. Dorado are a perfect example. We’ve been dealing with this for about a year now, but things will be changing. The only question is how and when?
Normally at this time of the year we don’t talk much about “breeding” fish. But normally we don’t have to deal with La Nina. Normally we don’t have species like Dorado in the area in the middle of “winter” fishing, even though It’s Spring. So much of the frustration we’re seeing in our fishing season is from species that “shouldn’t be here”. We all know it’s a “mixed up season”. So the locals are full of eggs and we have to deal with that. The good news is Jack Crevalles are taking bait again. Dorado that are here are still fickle, but beginning to take surface baits. Striped Marlin and Sailfish, again two species that are either “super early” for their normal season are showing signs of taking bait. With strange water temperatures and currents, species that shouldn’t “be” here, are because of La Nina, it can be hard to figure out. But the silver lining is the bay fishing is incredible with smaller species, like normal. And as the remaining Whales filter out, the near future for fishing in Puerto Vallarta is looking better by the day!
We’re finally seeing some changes for the positive when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures are holding. Striped Marlin and Sailfish are still off Punta Mita and most of the deep water fishing grounds are “on vacation” until further notice. But it’s March, the time of the year we normally start to see Sailfish return to the area. You may say “Sailfish, they’ve been here since before December”. And you’d be correct, but they shouldn’t have been frankly. I understand why visitors to Puerto Vallarta (PV) hoping to catch a billfish or Yellowfin Tuna. The only problem with that is, they’re on the wrong side of the calendar. Strangely Enough we can still provide a “Shot” at a Sailfish or Striped Marlin, which in itself is a strange thing. As fisherman/women we always deal the cards dealt. Right now Corbetena or El Banco are on vacation until further notice.
Welcome to another week of winter fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Yes, I said winter fishing, but that’s not quite right. In fact, it’s another week of La Nina fishing. Now you all know we get El Nino and the opposite of this is La Nina. That means what we would normally expect, isn’t happening. Water temps are what’s throwing the fishing community into a loop. Normally at this time of the year we’d be looking at less than 70 degree water temperatures. Right now we’re looking at 74 degrees, unchanged now for three weeks, unusual at best. This does is throw the entire “fishing calendar” off. We should be seeing Red Snappers, Bass, Grouper and several other winter species. There is normally a six to ten week window we get for this great fishing in the bay. This year it isn’t happening. Now it may still happen, but for now it’s not. So the Question remains, what is happening?
Right now your best bang for your fishing dollar is six hours in the bay. Bonito averaging 20 lbs, Jack Crevalles to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals are the equivalent of Ocean Trout, plentiful but no larger than 10 lbs. We’re still seeing the occasional Dorado, but with thirty boats heading out, maybe 2 Dorado boated. Which means they’re out there, but it probably won’t be you catching it! A couple of tricks you might want to try is using a downrigger, which seems to be working. The other is use light leader. Many of these guys, local Captains use heavy fluorocarbon leader of 80 to 125 lbs. When fishing for smaller gamefish, it’s like connecting a minnow to T.V. Cable! Drop your leader to 40 or 50 lbs and you’ll have better results. Keep these secrets to yourself.
Strangely enough we’re in the third week of the “Bubble”. It’s strange, but this freak situation of warm water hanging off the point of Punta Mita continues. Water temperatures seem to have stabilize a bit for the moment. Massive bait in the form of Squid and Red Crabs are all around the area as our yearly transition period continues. With plenty of action, everyone fishing in Puerto Vallarta right now are getting their fill of action. If you’re looking for Billfish or just a family day on the water, we’ve got you covered!
So here we go again, transitional season, pull your hair out trying to figure out what we “have” here in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds. As you should expect with dropping water temperatures in mid-January things can get confusing. Dorado are still in the area, but that’s not saying much. We are still seeing Blue Marlin, but nothing automatic. Sailfish have bugged out, but now Wahoo are starting to make an appearance. I told people all last week to forget about Dorado in the bay and then Wham! Dorado are in the bay. The only thing I can say for sure is Corbetena and El Banco are hardly showing a pulse!
It happens every year. We know it’s coming and it looks like were in a transition period about a month early. It’s a La Nina year and we never know what that’s going to bring us when we talk about fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures have been holding steady, but the water conditions are changing. Bait is plentiful, but our famous summer species are starting to thin in numbers as winter species like Jack Crevalles, Amber jacks and Snappers begin to move into the area. For now the fishing is still good, but with the changes that are happening now it could change things. The good news is Striped Marlin are moving in as we’re seeing the beginning of another transition season.
It looks like change is coming. Water temperatures have dropped drastically this week. Water is dirty, not unusual but very late in the season. Dorado is the dominant species right now but with lower water temperatures things could change soon. With changing currents this will bring the dirty water and the cooler water temperatures. It’s very early in the season for a drop of this magnitude, obviously this is the result of La Nina. It’s interesting that when the water temps dropped, the whales showed up. Also there are a few whales in the bay now. So things are changing, but the fishing surprising enough is still pretty good.
It’s a “life is a box of Chocolates” sort of situation now when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. It can be hot and then cold, then hot again. We need to remember that fish move and you need to be prepared to chase the birds. If you’re stuck on a boat that won’t use fuel, then you picked the wrong company to fish with. The fact of the matter is you will catch fish, right here, right now! Dorado are averaging over 20 lbs, Sailfish are picking daily in numbers, Marlin, Tuna, maybe even Rooster Fish. With plenty of varied bait there isn’t any problems making bait. Water Temperatures are a bit lower than we like at this time of the year, but still in the “normal” range. Blue water and smooth seas. What more could you want?